The seemingly never-ending wait for Euro 2020 is set to come to an end in the summer of 2021 as UEFA remains adamant that the tournament will go ahead, albeit with some possible alterations which could be made nearer the time.
Betting sites have had odds up for the Euros since the spring of 2019, and since then there has been no clear favourite as the main contenders all jostle for position at the top of the market.
World Cup semi-finalists, England, are one of three teams generally priced at 5/1, but some bookies have gone 9/2 on Gareth Southgate’s men.
They have an array of attacking talent at their disposal, and while it is a good problem to have, it won’t be easy leaving out any of Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount, Marcus Rashford, and many other in-form stars.
John Stones’ resurgence comes as a huge bonus as there have been concerns over England’s defensive abilities, and given that they will play their games at Wembley Stadium, the short price on the Three Lions is understandable.
Belgium have never had a better crop of players than they have over the past decade, and they might never do so again, so it may indeed be now or never for the Red Devils.
They should get through their group (Denmark, Finland, and Russia) unscathed, but it has been their displays at the business end of tournaments that has let them down since the 2014 World Cup.
Their third-place finish in Russia three years ago was their best performance at a major competition since 1972, and they are 5/1 to go all the way this time around.
France completed the World Cup and European Championships double in 1998 and 2000, and they are 5/1 with some football betting sites and 11/2 in other places to repeat this impressive feat.
Les Blues have not been flawless since their second World Cup success – underlined by a 2-0 defeat by Finland in a friendly in November – but they still have as much, if not more, firepower than anybody else in Europe.
There is no doubt that they would be priced shorter if they were not in Group F with Portugal and Germany.
It is unusual to see the Germans this far down in the betting at 15/2, but no wonder they’re so big considering they were thrashed 6-0 by Spain last time out.
Even aside from that result, the Germans have been struggling for consistency. In October, they shipped three against both Turkey and Switzerland – something that will have Group F rivals, Portugal and France licking their lips.
Of course, there is always the chance that Germany switch it on when it comes to the big tournament, so they can’t be counted out at these odds.
Three-time Euro’s winners, Spain, have been handed a relatively kind draw and will face Sweden, Poland, and Slovakia in Group E.
Only a handful of individuals remain from their trophy-winning campaigns, but with a nice blend of youth and experience, Spain could be good value at 7/1 or even 8/1 with some betting sites.
The form has been patchy in recent months, but the 6-0 rout over Germany has them on the right path.
Best of the Rest
Defending champions, Portugal, are 12/1 to retain their crown, but Italy could be considered a better play at the same odds.
The Netherlands will appear at a major tournament for the first time since 2014 and they’re thrown straight into the mix at 8/1. They will be sweating on the fitness of Virgil van Dijk, but the Liverpool defender should be able to take part.
World Cup runners-up, Croatia, could be dark horses at 33/1, but they will be the away team in their group games against England and Scotland.